Eurocamp is a brand that people get nostalgic about. Parents have memories of their own childhood holidays spent under canvas on the continent. They look back with fondness on the youthful joy they got from simple pleasures such as BBQs, sunny days in the pool, riding bikes through the woods, making friends and sleeping under the stars. But the market has moved on a lot since the 1980s. With budget airlines, the variety of holidays available has exploded and people’s expectations have risen. To keep pace, Eurocamp have evolved their experience. By 2018, only 5% of their customers opted for tents, with many staying in the luxurious lodges Eurocamp now offers. While the offer had evolved, perceptions of the brand had not. Squad was approached to develop a powerful positioning and translate this seamlessly into new branding and advertising.
To get under the skin of the brand, our strategic and creative team set off on their holidays. We travelled around Spain and Italy as if on a family holiday, enjoying croissants in the morning sun overlooking Salou and watching the sun set over dinner on Lake Garda. One of the team even took his real family on a Eurocamp holiday to France, making his children attend every available Kids’ Club and then interrogating them over dinner. We devoured all the customer research Eurocamp had available, and spent time in the call centre listening to live bookings. We interviewed staff from across the business, from couriers to the CEO. Gathering all our observations together, we began to form a picture of the challenges and opportunities facing the brand.
What We Did
Eurocamp’s data showed that only a minority of people in the UK consider going on a European camping holiday. The majority favour self-catering or hotel packages. As the biggest brand in the sector, our first observation was that in order to grow, Eurocamp would need to steal customers from other holiday types. They needed to grow the market. Some of these potential customers already knew Eurocamp from their own childhoods, and often had outdated perceptions that the company only offered camping and basic facilities. However, many had very few perceptions at all – other than what the brand name suggested to them: European camping holidays. We needed to engage people in the Eurocamp experience as it is today.
We knew from our research that people who love Eurocamp, really love Eurocamp. As sceptical newbies we needed to understand this. Why did these families love it so much? Gradually we came to understand. The truth is that Eurocamp offers incredible family holidays. Not the most luxurious holidays in terms of food and accommodation, but the family time they facilitate is unrivalled. We distilled seven messages to capture this:
Next, we started to look for a narrative. While the seven messages proved effective in explaining the Eurocamp experience, it was a lot to communicate. We needed some glue to stick all the messages together into a compelling narrative that we could start to build the brand around. Our insight came from understanding that the complexity of the message could be its strength. What made Eurocamp great was the diversity it offered. Yet its existing communications portrayed a very one-dimensional image of pools and slides.
The breadth of experience – from Spanish resorts to secluded French countryside – meant Eurocamp could offer the perfect family holiday to culture vultures and sun seekers alike. Our key word became “Possibilities”. As the market leader with the biggest range of holiday options and locations, Eurocamp were perfectly placed to take on the role of guide, steering people towards choosing their perfect holiday from all the possibilities they could offer across the continent. We summarised this as:
The positioning was refined over the course of customer-focus groups and developed into a fully formed story to be played out across our communications activity. The whole story was pulled together in a manifesto:
"Eurocamp holidays are all about family.
Our holidays are great for families because there are so many more possibilities.
Possibilities for entertainment right on your doorstep.
Possibilities for exploring sights and cultures off-parc.
Possibilities for eating and drinking.
There are possibilities for the kids to be free and independent.
Possibilities for the kids to make new friends.
Possibilities for you to relax while they’re entertained.
Or possibilities for being together as a family.
And all while, staying in the comfort of a Eurocamp holiday home.
Whatever everyone in your family enjoys there’s a Eurocamp holiday that’s perfect for you.
So why haven’t you explored the possibilities yet?"
When it came to communicating this, we advised Eurocamp that they needed to change the structure of their campaigns. Previously they’d create a big campaign once a year and pushed it out across all channels. For each new campaign they had to update every single channel. Our approach would be to use the narrative of “Possibilities” as a permanent proposition across all communications. We’d have television advertising to create spikes during key booking periods. This would be supported by ongoing digital and social activity. As the narrative provided the glue rather than a creative vehicle, the two levels of activity operated independently and a change to the advertising didn’t necessitate a revamp of all communications.
The role of the television advertising was to inspire people to explore the possibilities on offer by using the emotive power of film. The advertising campaign consisted of two 30-second television commercials and five online films. Each film followed a different family – including the Never-sit-stillers and the Chillers – as they embarked on a Eurocamp holiday. The two television commercials acted as a shop window for these stories, conveying the sheer contrast of experiences and parcs that Eurocamp offers. A Pussycat Dolls recording of the song Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps was used as the soundtrack.
Eurocamp 'Perhaps' 30 second TV advertisement
Eurocamp 'Perhaps' 30 second TV advertisement
Eurocamp 'Adventurers' film
The huge array of digital and social communications that would support the television advertising were created by Eurocamp’s internal team. Therefore we needed to provide them not just with a visual identity, but also a communications toolkit for conveying possibilities. The guidelines we created blended messaging frameworks spanning the customer journey, visual-identity guidance and copywriting instructions. The inspiration for the new visual identity was a typeface with many possibilities. Eurocamp’s previous branding had been troublesome to implement online because of the use of montages and script fonts.
We worked closely with Eurocamp’s design team, holding a number of workshops to develop the new branding together. This ensured that we benefited from their rich understanding of the nuanced challenges of their communications activity, and enabled them to take ownership of the approach from the outset.
Implementing the new identity allowed us to tackle another issue that Eurocamp had grappled with for many years: How to help customers find the right parc among diverse possibilities. We ran workshops with their teams and developed a new segmentation to categorise the parcs. We developed names and explanatory copy, which we tested in focus groups, before working with Eurocamp’s digital team to reflect it in the website user experience.
The new brand positioning launched on Boxing Day 2018 when the television advertising broke. Evaluation of the campaign has been incredibly positive:
Baro Line One & Baro Contour combine to create a new font possibility
“Squad’s blend of strategy and creativity really resonated with what we needed to move our brand forward. They were fantastically collaborative to work with, bringing new skills but also complementing our internal team really well.”
Chris Hilton - Head of Marketing, Eurocamp